(1052) Propyrrhula subhimachala subhimachala.
The Red-headed Rose-Finch.
Corythus subhimachalus Hodgs., As. Res., xix, p. 152 (1836) (Nepal). Propyrrhula subhimalayensis. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 210.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Adult male. Forehead, supercilium, chin, cheeks and throat crimson; lores dusky brown; crown, neck, back, scapulars and wing-coverts brown with broad dull crimson-red margins to each feather; rump and upper tail-coverts brighter crimson-red; tail dark blackish brown, each feather edged with red; wing-quills brown, edged with red; fore-neck and upper breast crimson, with pale central spots and dark bases making these parts appear mottled ; remainder of lower plumage brownish grey, generally paler in the centre of the abdomen and with whitish edges to the under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel to crimson-brown ; bill fleshy-brown ; legs and feet pale brown or fleshy-brown. " Iris stone-brown " (Stevens).
Measurements. Total length about 200 mm.; wing 92 to 104 mm.; tail 74 to 79 mm.; tarsus 21 to 22 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.
Female. Forehead, supercilium and part of the upper breast golden-orange; the rest of the plumage is like that of the male, the red being replaced by olive-yellow.
The young bird is like the female.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Miri Hills. In Winter it is found in the Khasia Hills, Cachar and Manipur, and is possibly resident on some of the higher ranges, above 7,000 feet, in these districts.
A very closely allied race, P. s. intensior Rothschild, is found in Yunnan and will probably be found in the Shan States. It differs only from the typical form in being a somewhat brighter, deeper crimson in the male and in having less green above and more yellow below in the female. It is of the same size as the typical form.
Nidification. Nothing authentic on record.
Habits. Very little on record. Stevens obtained it at 10,000 feet in January and April in Sikkim, and Jerdon records it as not uncommon about Darjeeling, presumably in Winter and at about 8,000 feet. I found it a regular visitor to the higher hills of North Cachar and the Khasia Hills in January and February. It kept much to stunted oak, rhododendron and scrub-jungle, haunting the bushes at about 5 to 15 feet from the ground and never, as far as could be seen, visited either the higher trees or the ground. I never heard it utter any notes.